Helluland Exhibit Gala

August 07, 2014:

The American Museum of Natural History hosts a gala to launch the Helluland Uncovered exhibit, donated by Lara Croft. Someone comes to see it that's very unexpected!

American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History (abbreviated as AMNH), located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City, is one of the largest and most celebrated museums in the world. Located in park-like grounds across the street from Central Park, the museum complex comprises 27 interconnected buildings housing 45 permanent exhibition halls, in addition to a planetarium and a library.

The museum gala tonight is being held in one of the special exhibition areas of the Human Origins and Cultural Halls. There is a long line of tables on one wall serving wine and non-alcoholc beverages. Waiters in black tie and tails wander through the crowd bearing trays of hors d'ouvres. Everyone is dressed to the nines in breathtaking designer gowns and tuxedos. A string quartet plays in one corner, just softly enough not to disturb conversations.

The real standouts of the gala, however, are the artifacts of the Helluland exhibit. Croft Expeditions uncovered both Inuit and Viking artifacts on Baffin Island's Barnes Ice Cap in Canada. They are are loan to the museum for the next year. There are many weapons, from the head of a Daneaxe that could once have been held by Eric the Red, to bone, slate, and carved antler weapons. There are totemic sculptures placed about on pedestals for viewing, from animal images, to something that looks like a clutch of stone eggs.

Characters

NPCs: Predator X

Mentions:

Mood Music: [*\# None.]


Fade In…

Tonight, the American Museum of Natural History is the host of a gala for the opening of the special Helluland Uncovered exhibit. The elite of New York, New Jersey, and Delaware are here, among other wealthy arts supporters from around the country.

Amid the party goers is Lady Lara Croft, whose Croft Expeditions found the artifacts on display for the next year. She's all "old Hollywood glamour" tonight, in a sparkly golden dress with a low V front, and her hair done in a sleek style falling into waves around her shoulders (http://sweetcelebrity.files.wordpress.com/2008/05/jessica2520biel_-_roberto_deste_photoshoot_04.jpg). Her main accessory, however, is a sling holding her left arm in place to support the healing of a dislocated shoulder. It is a blinged-out sling though, keeping in theme with the black tie event. Her date for the evening, lawyer Matt Murdock, had to excuse himself for emergency lawyerly business, so she's flying solo now.

Kimiko Tatsu isn't a terribly well-known name. Unless you have a lot of dealings with organized crime on either side of the fence. The ranking member of Clan Tatsu in North America, a Yakuza family with relatively modest holdings in North America, she a picture of refined elegance in a red dress that drapes her form to the floor with a high Mandarin collar and sleeves that come down to her wrists. It definitely doesn't show a lot of skin but clings enough to accent her modest curves. Her hair is bound up in a twist, and everything from the set of her shoulders to the not-a-hair-out-of-place and the ramrod set of her spine screams 'ice princess'. She's definitely not one for bling, her tailored outfit modestly accented with diamonds.

At Kimiko's side is her current escort for the evening. He's a young man with strong features framed by golden hair that is for once pushed back out of his eyes and rather well tended to as opposed to the ragged wild mane it tends to be. Wearing a well tailored suit of black save for the white collarless shirt, he cuts a fairly dashing silhouette and would perhaps turn a few heads even if it wasn't for the faint crimson glow in his eyes that leave a hint of startrails as he moves.

Alexander Aaron is relatively unknown amongst the Manhattan social scene, though in some few superheroic circles he might be recognized as that one guy without a costume in the Titans.

Lara drifts through the crowd, schmoozing, although she seems to be drinking sparkling water rather than alcohol. Booze and painkillers are the gateway to many a social faux pas; she knows better. She makes her way over to where Kimiko and Alexander are, and greets them with a smile. "Welcome to the gala," she says in a British accent, "I do believe I've seen you before?" That is to Phobos. "On the news perhaps?" A waiter comes by to offer some crab puffs. The adventurer props her water on top of her forearm in the sling, to take one and pop it in her mouth expertly. Injury seems to be a state she's used to.

Kimiko has a glass of champagne and while one normally attends these functions to mingle, she doesn't go out of her way to do any networking. Maybe that's planned for later, when people have had a bit more to drink and are more likely to compromise themselves. When Lara comes over Kimiko gives the injured woman a polite smile and a slight bow of her head. When she speaks, her Japanese accent holds British inflections as well. Likely from her teacher. "Good evening Lady Croft." At her interest in Alexander, Kimiko turns a slightly amused gaze upon her companion.

Meeting Lara's gaze as the woman approaches, when she speaks to him he lowers his eyes just enough as if granting some small form of a bow. He steps back one step, hand uncurling as he gestures towards himself first, "Alexander Aaron, Lady Croft." His hand continues that slight gesture only now to indicate Kimiko as he murmurs, "Might I have the honor to present to you Kimiko Tatsu, it is through her I am so fortunate to have been allowed to attend your event."

Those faintly glowing red eyes lend something almost of the demonic to the young man, despite his otherwise seraphic features. He turns back, resting his hand gently upon Kimiko's where her fingers rest upon the crook of his elbow.

"You flatter me to take notice. I have had the fortune to be involved in certain events to which my part was terribly small, I assure you."

"Regardless, you have done good for the city. Thank you for that," Lara says to Alexander with a raising of her reclaimed glass of Perrier. "Miz Tatsu, a pleasure. Thank you for supporting the museum," she adds to the lovely woman. "Are you a regular supporter of the AMNH, or particularly interested in the Helluland exhibit?" she asks the pair.

"I am only recently arrived to the United States and am up from Metropolis." Kimiko replies to Lara. "I am still…" And here she gives a small, almost embarassed smile as she reaches for the turn of phrase. "Feeling the area out? But I could not turn down an excuse to make poor Alexander dress for me. And please. Kimiko is fine. No need for formality tonight." Even if it is a black-tie affair. It is definitely a formality night.

An eyebrow cocks as Alexander shoots a slight sidelong glance at Kimiko. A ghost of a half-smirk comes to light, giving his already curious features a hint of the malevolent. Turning back to look towards Lara, Alexander addresses her in a calm tone, "My father considered himself a sort of patron to mankind's history. Perhaps it is only fitting that I take a few moments to consider it tonight." That having been said he avails himself of a flute of champagne from a passing server.

"So you had a direct hand in the acquisition of these elements for this exhibition, Lady Croft?"

"Then Lara works just fine as well. I try not to stand on formality too often. Afraid I'll tip over and tumble off it. Much to the consternation of my butler," Croft says with a chuckle. She is standing by Kimiko and Alexander, dressed in a golden gown with a blinged-out sling immobilizing her left arm as an accessory. She nods to Phobos. "I did, indeed. I led an expedition to the Barnes Ice Cap on Baffin Island, in the Nunavut territory of Canada," she explains. "We found evidence of Erik the Red's expedition there, such as this piece here." She moves to the pedestal holding a glass case in which the head of a Viking Daneaxe is displayed. "And also of an ancient Inuit group, that may have been the crux of the Unuit Ijirait legends. We believe their presence may be why the Vikings deemed the island too inhospitable for settling, despite it having a similar climate to their native Greenland."

Kimiko gives a soft chuckle. "As in, the natives were inhospitable, hmm?" Kimiko comments, dark eyes going over the piece on display that Lara is showcasing. Alexander gets one of those amused glances as he mentions his father, her thumb sweeping against his arm where her hand rests at the crook of his elbow. Giving Lara back her attention though she asks, "And what sparked your obvious love of history, Lara?"

It so happens that Kwabena Odame has found reason to attend this gala. In spite of a very well-intentioned warning from his friend and trusted advisor of sorts, he has continued in his effort to track down a certain narcotics trafficker. Which, in turn, has led him… here.

The Ghanaian has fit his frame with a pair of skinny cut designer jeans, a charcoal blazer, and a deep crimson collared shirt. Snakeskin shoes complete the outfit, the expensive fabrics cutting a nice path between 'too casually dressed to be here' and 'wearing enough designer clothing that he must be a musician, famous photographer, or trust fund baby'.

He has been schmoozing to a point, which usually involves carrying a glass of whiskey (neat) and articulating mild-mannered 'passes' at young, attractive women. However, the whole deal is a front, for in truth, his silver eyes are constantly looking out for a certain person who he expects might be present here.

Stepping to the side to stand with the two women as they discuss the exhibits, Alexander finds himself peering closely at the antiquities, looking between them and the woman responsble for acquiring them. He gives a nod as she speaks and for a time seems to take a particular interest in the axehead. Then he straightens and then adds to Kimiko's words, "A love of history that clearly one risks life and limb for." As he says this he gives a small gesture with his drink, indicating Lara's sling.

Hands in his pockets, Roberto da Costa drifts over to the case containing the elaborate axehead that is the prize piece of the weapons recovered by Lara's expedition. He's dressed as formally as possible in an immaculately tailored tuxedo, but his posture, manner, and expression all contribute to an aura of irreverence that manages to make even this outfit look a bit rakish. A rakish bow tie, people! That is not an easy thing to manage.

He listens in on Lara's description of the find, nodding just slightly. His mother, an anthropologist, has familiarized him enough with her field that he can comprehend the significance of this expedition's discoveries. But something about her description strikes him as odd.

"The Vikings weren't ones to let hostile natives dissuade them from a prize," he pipes up, giving Lara a puzzled look. "You really think the risk of armed conflict would drive them away?"

Slipping in amongst the crowd, Cricket looks lovely with reddish gold hair up and a long white dress, with a single strap, glittering rhinestones and peacock feathers seeming to grow up like grass from the hem. (http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Angel-Fashions-Sexy-One-Shoulder-Peacock-Slim-Party-Bridesmaid-Dress-Green/1720467349.html)

A glass of champagne in one hand, she looks over the various displays with detatched interest. Her last name of Schodt is well known, they have a lot of holdings but they have never shown up to one of these things before. She starts walking up behind Roberto, looking at the exhibit.

Lara smiles wistfully, and she touches a fingertip to the small carved green stone on a leather thong around her neck. Her father gave it to her, long ago. "My father was an archaeologist as well, and he and my mother took me on several of their safer expeditions when I was a child. I grew up with a love of history because of them." She nods to Alexander. "History is a great deal of guessing, and written by the victors, unless brave people work to uncover actual evidence to unravel the mysteries of the past."

Roberto's question has Lara turning to look at him. "I expect they were more disturbed by the strange ritual practices of the natives, which may have seemed supernatural to them." And to everyone else who ran into the Shadow People on her expedition. She'd rather not end up in a padded room, however, so she glosses over that. "You can see some of their strange carvings in the displays. If you will please excuse me, I have some paperwork to sign to finalize the loan of the pieces to the museum." She slips away, leaving them to talk amongst themselves.

As soon as Lara moves off, Alexander nods in reply to Kimiko's quiet whisper as she moves off to greet some business acquaintances of her own. Thus leaving Alexander to catch Cricket's eye across that same exhibit. He lift his voice and smiles easily enough across that distance. "Ms. Schodt," He recalls the young woman from some time ago, "How goes your quest for self? Any revelations since we last spoke?" Then he takes a sip of champagne, enjoying the gala's atmosphere and the burble of the crowd.

There is a moment where Kwabena and another gentleman, this one properly dressed in a tuxedo, come together and speak quietly. Each of them seem to best friendly mannerisms, but if one might catch a closer look at their eyes, they will see something different. These two are not friends. Enemies, perhaps, or worse, given the expressions that border on violence. At the end of the brief encounter, Kwabena leans over and murmurs something into the man's ear, then pats him on the shoulder in a comforting way before turning and heading elsewhere.

Roberto glances over in the direction indicated, nods at the departing Lara, and then makes his way over to take a look at the more esoteric finds. He's seen few pieces related to ritual magic; although his mother certainly wrote on the topic, she certainly didn't keep a lot of those pieces — or even sketches of them — around the house. He finds the pieces unsettling; whether because of their own creep factor or his past brushes with dark forces of the supernatural, it's unclear. But they are interesting enough that he spends quite some time inspecting them.

Nodding her head politely to Alexander, Cricket smiles over her glass of champagne. "Ah yes, some interesting revelations on that matter, but this is hardly the time to talk about me and my past. How are you? How have you been since we last met?" As she speaks with Alexander, her eyes wander with a bored laziness. A single brow arches as two men talk, looking overly polite to mask their hatred. "People are so interesting, don't you think?"

Kimiko drifts back over towards Alexander, the young man serving as a sort of 'home base' for the Japanese woman as she's occasionally pulled away to speak to someone or another. Seeing Cricket with Alex she gives the woman a polite smile but doesn't butt in to the conversation until she's acknowledged.

Taking a place at Cricket's side, Alexander lets his gaze wander the room easily enough. He glances towards Cricket and waves a hand to the side as if brushing away her words and her inquiry. "I am as I alwayam, formidable of course." At that his lips curl into a smirk as his gaze follows hers, noting Shift's discussion with the other man.

"Interesting? Some perhaps. Most tend to blur together for me."

Then Kimiko approaches and he steps back, "Ms. Schodt. May I introduce to you Kimiko Tatsu, I am her escort for this evening."

Whatever Shift said to that guy, it probably wasn't pretty. As the Ghanaian walks away, the other man, a slightly shorter fellow with greased hair and some old scars on his face, is absolutely scowling. He watches Shift from behind for a moment, before turning and cursing under his breath. He retrieves a phone from his jacket pocket, and rudely walks through a couple talking while punching a text message into his phone with stabby gestures.

As for Kwabena, he seems smugly pleased with himself. His mission complete, it's now time to enjoy this gala that he paid so hefty a price to get into. The journey takes him closer to the others as he, as well, begins to casually inspect the artifacts up for display.

Feeling sufficiently creeped out for one evening by his time with the occult artifacts, Roberto snags a champagne flute from a passing tray, downs half of the contents, and starts back toward the brighter, livelier areas of the display. It'll probaby take a good few minutes to get demon bears and limbo demons out of his mind, now, but at least he got himself a bit of edification before starting in on the meat of any gala event: getting roaring drunk on expensive wine.

Lara returns from finishing up her paperwork with the museum director. She had ditched her glass of Perrier somewhere, and now has a little hors d'ouvres consisting of a planked fig with pancetta and goat cheese in hand as she makes her way back into the mix. She spots a gathering and moves towards where Alexander and company are. "Ah, Miz Schodt, it is so lovely to see you here," she says to Cricket warmly. Money families.

Offering her hand to Kimiko as she is introduced, Cricket nods her head politely. "It's a pleasure to meet you. How fortunate for you to have found someone to accompany you. I must admit to feeling rather… vulnerable, being here on my own." She sips delicately at her champagne. Upon being greeted by Lara, she looks shocked. "You… you know me?" she asks, breathless and hopeful.

Kimiko gives Cricket a smile and a tilt of her head as she takes that proffered hand. There's a brief pause before she speaks, the faintest flicker of surprise. "Ms. Schodt." She greets the other woman with that small smile. Kimiko's attention tends to move about the room, keeping an eye on who is here, the tone of the room. It's not often that she's lacking her bodyguards to help her do that. Something seems to catch her eye and she leans in towards Alexander, close enough that her lips brush his ear as she speaks softly before straightening with a hint of mischief in her eyes.

Pepper says, 'Tony you need to get out more' Tony says, 'Pepper, I don't want to go to some stuffy art thing.. I'm just going to embarass you, so let's skip that, I'll go to my Malibu beach house and throw a raging party!'

Tony did not win that argument. Pepper informed him that it would be both impolite and that he ''owed'' her a single night out without him making a scene. After the little riot he accidentally caused… well, she had a point. So here he was, walking into the Gala sans a date, already looking for a waitor or waitress with champagne.

At least he's trying to smile, but it's a busy smile. A distracted smile. An, I don't want to be here but Pepper made me come, smile.

As Kimiko whispers into Alexander's ear he looks at her curiously, one eyebrow cocking with a hint of incredulity. His eyes shift to look in the direction she gestures, drifting over faces, moving from eyes to eyes. That is until his attention falls heavily upon a particular young redheaded woman across the room.

With no words passing between them the young deity considers the Yakuza boss and smirks wryly. A small shake of his head is given as if reluctant but then he turns to Lara and Cricket. "If you both will please excuse me."

That having been said, Alexander moves across the room, slipping through the crowd and crossing towards the aforementioned young woman. Distantly he seems to strike up a conversation with her, and for now his attention is occupied.

Soon enough, Kwabena's frienemy is long gone. Kwabena himself is admittedly interested by the artifacts, but Lara's return frankly catches his eye. There's a flash of familiarity that he quickly subdues, for at least a few moments, until curiosity gets the best of him, and out comes a StarkPhone.

Three googles and a handful of taps later, and the African is arcing a dubious eyebrow. She doesn't quite look the same in fancy clothes, but as he glances up from the phone to inspect Lara from a distance, he becomes… convinced.

The phone goes away, the whiskey goes down his gullet, and the empty glass is replaced by a champagne flute courtesy of a passing waiter. Then, he's closing the distance at a casual pace, taking an arcing approach so that he's in her vantage point before he gets too near. Small courtesies, that.

"Miss Croft?" he asks, then offers a hand. "Wondahful display you have here."

Someone shoves a tray of canapes at Roberto, and he waves them off irritably. He's not hungry; he's thirsty. The great design flaw with champagne flutes is that they don't actually contain very much champagne. He makes his way over to the nearest drinks tray and trades in his empty flute for a full one, reassuring himself that this will be the one he nurses.

It seems the wait staff have been alerted to certain rich elite who may attend. There is instantly a waiter approaching Tony to offer him champagne. Grease the donation wheels and all that.

Lara looks relaxed and in good spirits, but that could be the pain killers currently keeping her dislocated shoulder from driving her insane. Stupid Kingpin and his stupid explosion. "I know of you, Miz Schodt," she notes. As Kwabena approaches she offers him a welcoming smile. "Thank you, Mister…?" she trails off, not knowing the man by name.

"I'll take two." Tony informs the waiter, while indeed taking two of the flutes off the tray, "And where's the bar? Is there a bar? There really should be a bar…" God he hopes there's a bar. He's going to need to be a little less sober for this.

With his two flutes, one of them that is already empty, Tony makes rounds. Greeting this person with a plastic smile and a completely interested nod at whatever hoka-doodie preposal is being spouted at him. "Not tonight, I'm partying." Wiggling his champagne flute.

And that young lady, with whom he seems far more interested, if only temporarily. It's just a showy way of getting to the art exibits. Standing infront of the pieces, staring up at it, perplexed. His champagne flute dangles from his hand, his phone flips open in the other so he can mix his business with pleasure.

Cricket manages to mask her disappointment rather well. It's there but only the truly attentive would notice. "Ah, yes. My father's investments do make a name for us, don't they?" She notices Tony Stark over on the other side of the room and politely excuses herself. "If you would pardon me, I just saw someone that I really must speak to." She slips away and saunters over to the billionaire philanthropist. "You look bored. Would talking about your arc reactors put a smile on your face or should I leave you be?"

Watching Alexander move away, Kimiko drifts off into the crowd as well with one of her most real smiles of the evening.

"Odame," answers Shift. "Kwabena." His greeting is friendly, as if the little encounter earlier was nonexistent. "Dese ah all pieces dat you discovahed?" he asks with his heavy accent. "Congratulations ah clearly in ordah."

From the corner of his eye, he recognizes some hubbub. It seems to be centered around a certain person. That person is Tony Stark. His lip curls into a humored grin. "You've brought out de big guns for dis. Good job." The champagne comes up and he takes a hearty drink.

Tony is caught up in the images being holographically projected up from the center of his cellphones screen. Which, incidentally, is of an arch reactor, so that works out in everyone's favor! With someone interrupting his quiet revelry, Tony clicks the phone closed with the knuckle of his index finger and slips it back into his pocket.

Alright, time to be on his best behavior, with a smile… and… "Hello." He says, genuinely, when he sees Cricket standing beside him and not the usual sort who ask after his technology. His eyes dance across the dress she's wearing, then back up at her eyes, smile snapping into place. "Well, if you want? Usually I save that kind of conversation for breakfast."

Nerves calmed, Roberto goes to look at some of the artifacts he's less familiar with. In particular, the clutch of stone 'eggs' gets a close inspection. He can't quite work out their purpose. They don't seem to have a practical use, and their shapes are a bit too simple and familiar to tie in with the arcane religious artifacts. He looks for the resident expert, but sees that she's in a conversation already — it would probably be tacky to interrupt with an academic question. Closer by, he notices Cricket trying to break Stark out of his loner act, and smirks. Must be nice to have the women come straight to you. Maybe he should invest in a suit of armor.

"Most of the pieces, yes. There are several still being examined and dated at a number of universities, and several pieces were donated to Nunavet's Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, for their own museum." Lara's gaze moves to follow Shift's to Stark and she grins. "Hopefully he'll donate plenty tonight. He doesn't look terribly happy to be here." She spots Roberto examining the egg sculpture and moves to join him. "I'm not entirely sure what the purpose of this piece is. They did have a great deal of Raven carvings, so perhaps it represents their eggs?" she offers.

Cricket notices the hologram of the arc reactor on the phone and seems enrapt. When Tony shuts his phone and the image is gone, Cricket blushes. "I do apologize. You must think me terribly nerdy to be wanting to talk about the reactors, but they fascinate me. As to breakfast, well, how about we just talk about the science for now, thank you." Immune to his charms? Is that possible?

As Lara approaches, seemingly plucking the question right from his mind, Roberto smiles. "Exactly what I was just wondering," he tells her, only a slight accent pointing to his Brazilian origin. "If ravens were a totem for them, I suppose eggs could represent fertility or a rebirth cycle. Not quite the same style as the rest of their religious pieces, though. Perhaps a calendar — some kind of seasonal decoration? It's interesting to wonder."

He shrugs and offers her a half-smile, then his hand. "Roberto da Costa. You must be Lara Croft. My mother had several of your father's books."

With a few nods, Kwabena legitimately listens, letting his attention be fully taken by Lara for a few moments. Mention of Stark simply has him grinning in an agreeable way. "Well, it's good to see you made it back from your adventah's in one piece." The words come with a subtle touch of meaningful undercurrent, and an earnest nod. She'll understand what it means, he suspects.

Leaving Lara to encounter Roberto, the Ghanaian finishes his champagne and goes for another. A set of silver eyes look out over the crowd, watchful for a few moments. Seems he wants to make sure that old 'friend' of his is truly gone.

Charm? Tony Stark has not yet begun to charm. What with that smile taking on a genuine little lilt, eyes shining a bit, and his shoulder jerking into a small shrug. One eye squints at Cricket, head tilted to one side, "Nerdy? Seriously? I don't think I would have much of a leg to stand on, calling anyone nerdy." It would be pretty foolhardy for anyone to accuse him of it, anyways.

"Alright, but there's polite conversational points we have to cover first. You clearly know me…" Tapping his pinky nail against the long stim of his champagne flute, "And I have no idea who you are. Now, I could go into some long tangent about the workings of my toys… but before I do." His right hand extends out to her, "Tony Stark."

"A pleasure, Mister Da Costa. Your mother is a well-respected colleague in the field," Lara notes to Robert, shaking the offered hand. "Father spoke of her often." She tilts her head slightly. "Are you interested in archaeology as well? Or are you just representing the family here this evening?" she asks cordially.

The woman with the mixed features laughs softly at Tony's commentary of being nerdy. "Well, a handsome man can get away with being a scientific genius without himself being thought less of a man. Sadly, the same can't be said for women. But thank you." She smiles, brushing a bit of hair over her ear.

"Oh goodness, I do apologize. Where are my manners." She takes the offered hand. "Cricket Schodt. My father was Dr. Eli Schodt, one of your investors. His investments have been passed down to me now after his demise."

"Oh joy. Does that mean you're a stockholder?" Tony's smile almost, allllmost faulters, at the thought of trying to charm one of the board. He's better than that and his hypocracy really does not have any bounds. Then his mouth presses into a thin line, "I was upset to hear about your father." Said… less than genuinely.

"Never had the previlage of meeting him, but.." His hand wiggle wobbles from side to side. "But he did want me dead, so I'm sure he was a really popular guy." That part, at least, has him smiling around the rim of his champagne flute.

"How about you? Like father like daughter? I'm really not that bad a guy…"

Better late than never? Who knew Clint Barton actually cleans up to look sharp in a suit and tie? Cleanshaven, new haircut, and a suit back from the cleaners makes for a figure that doesn't look (too) out of place. Walking through the grand entryway of the museum (alone!), he slows to take a quick accounting of those in attendance. Most, obviously, he doesn't know (big surprise!), but some he actually recognizes reasonably quickly.

Grabbing a drink off one passing tray and a half-bite-sized morsel from another, Barton is ready to mingle. Or at least look like he's doing so.

"You're too kind," Roberto answers Lara, sounding sincerely pleased. Usually if he's recognized, it's either for his father's business exploits or some questionable decision of his own. His mother's academic pursuits getting a bit of respect is a pleasant change. "I'm interested, certainly, but I can't say I'm anything but a hobbyist. Haven't got the training. And with people like you bringing in finds like these, well" — he waves his hand at the nearest artifacts — "I almost don't have to leave New York to feel like I'm keeping up with the latest discoveries."

Lara smiles at Roberto. "Well I've been residing here for a few months, so I decided to give the AMNH first crack at the exhibit. It'll be up for traveling around the world in a year or so," she explains. Spotting Clint enter, she raises her uninjured arm to wave him over. "Mister Barton! So glad you could make it. This is Mister Da Costa, whose mother was a friend of my father's in the archeological field. Roberto, Mister Barton here was on the expedition with me and of great help in securing the artifacts."

In time, Kwabena has found himself a dame. After all, he doesn't want to falsely project an air of suspicion. He -was- here to pinpoint someone involved in heavy narcotics trafficking, and he -was- responsible for that man leaving. He does -not- want to institute a repeat of Eastham Square. That, however, doesn't mean that he can't occupy his time with a few, shall we say, minor distractions.

A few minutes of conversation pass, and soon enough, he has the arm of a tall, leggy, and be-heeled African beauty. He leads her over to the table (which constitutes as a bar), and finds the server who had 'located' a bottle of whiskey. Enough with this champagne nonsense. Two glasses are poured (expensive stuff, of course), and he offers one glass to his impromptu date with a charming smile.

When not inspecting the exhibits, Alan's been wandering around and socializing. Though some might want to talk business, he steers things away to lighter topics since he's determined to be off duty. Depositing his champagne glass on the tray of a server, he takes a full one and wanders over close enough to listen to Lara. And just who might this Mister Barton be that he doesn't recognize.

"Yes, but please try not to hold that against me," Cricket says with a laugh. "I'm only a stockholder by coincidence. It's truly your science that I'm interested. You have a beautiful mind, Mr. Stark. And there is no need to lie about my father. If he ever left our penthouse, no one has managed to prove it. He was driven to the very end. I don't know what he was inventing, but … it consumed him."

Cricket laughs again as Tony talks about her father. "He wanted you dead? Whatever for? And if he did, why was he invested so heavily in your company. That confuses me."

Caught! Barton gets that half-bite into his mouth and manages to finish chewing and swallowing just as Lara calls his name to gain his attention. A little bit of champagne to wash it down and make sure no… whatever it is is stuck on his teeth, and he smiles before heading in her direction.

Once there, Barton stands beside the hostess, his head cocked slightly before he extends a hand. "De Costa. Clint Barton. A pleasure." Nodding his acknowledgement and agreement, Barton adds, "Was fun. Hoping for a Hawaiian tropics run for artefacts at some point, but it was pretty damn— pretty successful."

Tony mmms quietly and drains the rest of his champagne, replacing the flute for a full one from a passing waiter. "I'll try not to." He assures her, wiggling his newly refreshed beverage expressively. As more guests filter in, Tony turns to regard some of them, most faceless or faces he knows and doesn't care about. There's a few people, (that's you fine folks) who he lifts his flute too. All very polite, I swear I'm not ignoring you but woman interested in science, of him.

"To tell you the truth and be completely fair.. I assume everyone wants to kill me. Most people think that makes me paranoid, I think that eventually I'll be right and also claim I see the future." He drinks a large portion of the champagne and shrugs, retreating back to something she's said earlier:

"I have a beautiful Malibu beach house too. You think my mind's wonderful, you just wait until you get a look at my view." Unbashful.

"Good to meet you, Clint," Roberto says to the archer, returning the handshake. "I can't say I'm familiar with your work, though," he says, eyebrows angling as he tries and fails to place 'Barton' in his mother's library. Good luck with that, 'Berto. "Have you worked on a lot of expeditions like these?" He sips at his own champagne while waiting for an answer. He's managing to nurse this one! I'm sure you were all in suspense.

Lucky stands off to one side rather quietly trying to keep himself from drawing too much attention. He's clad in a fairly nice suit, that does a good job of not standing too far out though his general build, and the way he holds himself clearly shows him as someone's bodyguard with a military background. His face is absolutely covered in scars and he hasn't really spoken a word since arriving.

"The most intriguing thing is finding such a basis of truth to the Viking Sagas. Helluland used to be just a myth or part of a story. Now it's real." Lara smiles to Roberto and Clint, then raises a hand to beckon Alan Scott over. More huge money. The museum should be making a fortune tonight.

Without missing a beat, Barton gets his response out. "No? Heck… I've been to Turkey, Budapest, Ukraine, England, Scotland on different assignments. But truthfully?" He leans in with that confidential air, "Most of it is pretty quiet. Sometimes you don't want too much publicity because of the local chief here, guys carrying AKs there."

A touch of a smile is given to Lara after his response, and he nods his agreement to her. "Never know. I mean, there's got to be a little truth to the drunk Vikings. Something to tell when getting happily inebriated."

"A fine exhibit, Ms. Croft. You have much to be proud about." Alan says as he walks over. "I imagine Rhys would have been very excited for you had he been here."

Cricket is mostly ignoring the gala. Really, this sort of thing is mostly a write off. Charitable donations, gotta love 'em. She sips at her own glass of champagne, still on the same glass that she has been nursing since before she saw Tony.

"Well, when you went and declared yourself publically to be Iron Man, you did paint a rather large target on yourself. Just being rich, the CEO of a company that makes military armaments, and a bit of a playboy does that, but being a superhero as well? I must say, you are either very brave or incredibly foolhardy." Her smile is warm as she teases Stark.

"Are you trying to get me to have breakfast again with you, Mr. Stark?"

Bruce has lost count of the Museum Galass he's tastefully crashed this year alone. A black suit personally tailored by Raphael Lee fits comfortably and perfectly across Mister Wayne's broad shoulders, a maroon tie the centerpiece. He's casual in his walk through the front doors, forward facing and not paying the least amount of attention to anyone standing at the entrance; he's not here to socialize so much as make an appearance, a quick trip through the museum, maybe look interested in two or three exhibits and be on his way once again. Doesn't hurt to look the role even if he isn't feeling the man one bit right now.

Bruce's mind is elsewhere. It's cycling through case files, sightings, profiles, leads, wounds he is mentalling focusing to hide and the careful monitoring of his own demeanor. He does, for effect smell a bit like scotch mixed with expensive cologne. Perhaps too heavy on the scent of alcohol but Alfred's hands as expert as they are somehow, slipped. Imagine that.

Roberto gives Clint a perplexed look, then suddenly seems to catch on. "So you're not so much on the published academics end of things?" he asks with a smile. "Mom didn't often work in dangerous areas, but I'd be lying if I said no one ever had to knock some heads together to keep her safe."

He glances over at Alan as Lara draws him toward the small group. It takes him a second to place the man, as he's more familiar with New York socialites than the Gotham scene, but he gets there eventually. "Scott, from GBC, right? Roberto da Costa," he introduces himself politely.

With the invitation sent by the Lady Lara Croft, and knowing full well the role he'd played in the occasion, it was hard to pass up a chance to attend. Even if Roy Harper didn't dress up well in a suit tux, he could at least pass for a few hours.

His date was going to be late. Something to do with having a difficult time getting the dress to fit. Lian was left with the babysitter, so no trouble there.

Familiar faces, on the other hand… hard to find with this -crowd-.

At least until he sees someone familiar, at least…

"Barton," he greets, nodding at those about him.

"Mister Scott, I am sure Rhys would be drinking all the champagne if he were here. I miss him. But yes, he'd have loved to see this," Lara notes to Alan with a sad smile. It brightens when Roy arrives. "Mister Harper, another of my expedition members. This is Mister Da Costa, Mister Scott, and you know Mister Barton already."

Well there are just some things that a supposed member of the Social Elite are supposed to. Spending all the time at a dojo teaching students is not one of them according to the business manager. So of course Daniel Rand was told he had to make an appearance at the gala. Sure the young man doesn't have much interest in the viking culture, but hey they have free stuff here, and that is how the rich stay rich, encourge on the free stuff. So of course the guy makes a grab for the nearest champagne and starts taking a sip. Hey he has still gotten uncomfortable at these things. He can fight an entire gang singlehandledly, yet he has trouble mingling with the upper class and stuff, go figure right?

"A pleasure to meet you, Mister da Costa. Your father is well, I hope?" Once you hit a certain amount fo money and/or influence, it's a small club and Alan has met most of them. "Hello, Mr. Harper. It must have been quite exciting to have been in on this. I'm almost temtped to play hookie from work and stowaway on Ms. Croft's next expedition."

One of the advantages of being an illusion-weaver was that you never really had to shop for fancy clothes. A simple long-sleeved shirt and slacks could easily be turned into an impeccable and rather elegant suit. There wasn't much he could do about the face, though. It made more sense to Keith that he should be there as his heroic persona rather than his civilian self- simply because of a somewhat mischievous desire to see people's reactions to a cheshire cat in a suit. He wasn't surprised that he won tickets to the gala in a draw… the wave of chaos that seemed to shape his life gave him both good and bad fortune at the tip of a hat. He assumed the tide was growing on the 'good' side.

He would have -really- liked to make his entrance with Raven at his side, since he thought that this would be her kind of exhibit… but so far his 'date' hasn't shown up, and he goes in figuring that if she comes in she will find him. He has been either stood up or his team-mate was detained stopping the Joker from stealing forty pies or something similar.

Knowing absolutely nobody in the room, Vorpal simply walk around, looking at the exhibits with interest, though he will eagerly engage someone in conversation if addressed.

The gala has been crowded all evening, with donations rolling in to the American Museum of Natural History at a rapid clip. Guests sip champagne and eat fancy canapes, dressed in their best black tie attire, while having the first look at the new "Helluland Uncovered" exhibit in a room amid the Human Origins and Cultural Halls. Big money attendees are present, including representatives of the da Costa, Schodt and Tatsu families, Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne, Alan Scott, and the woman who donated the artifacts for the museum's use for the next year, Lady Lara Croft. Heck, someone even dragged Daniel Rand out of his dojo. There are also several special guests, among them some of those who went on the expedition with Lara, and some winners of gala tickets donated to radio stations.

The evening has begun to wind down, and some of the attendees have already departed. It's just about time for the Museum Director to announce that the gala has ended, when several phones and some hero com-links begin bleeping and blooping and vibrating with urgent news. One of the museum personnel move to a display in the wall which is showing the donations rolling in, and tunes it to the local news instead. A very stressed-out reporter, with mussed hair and a look of terror in his eyes, seems to be standing near the Hudson River, at the 79th street boat basin. It looks to be in shambles at the moment. "And that creature that came out of the river smashed its way through the basin and is heading down West 79th street towards Central Park! It came out of nowhere! It looked like a giant nightmare alligator with flippers!'

There is a slight tremor running through the floor of the building. Impact tremors? As police and fire department sirens can be heard heading towards the museum. "Wait! It seems to be heading directly for the American Museum of Natural History!" The camera sweeps up 79th street at what looks like the remains of squashed vehicles and shattered store front windows. There is debris floating in the air, making it hard to see details, but there is a moment where one can make out what appears to be a flipper of some sort, at least 10 feet long, slamming down on a lamp post.

"Oh bollocks," Lara whispers under her breath. "That can't possibly be…" That's when people start scattering to the four winds, screaming and flailing at the news. The gala becomes a chaos of panic.

It's actually a good evening, but there's just something that sits at the back of Barton's head telling him that his 'job' regarding Ms Croft and this artefact thing simply isn't over. All the wierdness that came out of it, and the fact that she is now 'one of them' as it were? It's more than duty.

The cellphone in his pocket begin to buzz, and checking it, reads the message at the same time blue eyes rise to the television screen. "Awww, hell," is drawled softly and slowly. "I think it followed us home."

Calling out a little louder now, Barton is on the move. "There's a subway station not far. Out the back and down a block. Get as far as you can." And leave the limos behind, please and thankyou.

"Is it working? Are you going to have breakfast with me?" Tony asks of Cricket, grinning like the hatter when the news broadcast catches his attention and draws him over, probably with most of the guests, to the big screen television that shows the approaching carnage perpetrated by what that big faced lady on the screen is calling a huge alligator.

"Huh. This is like one of my parties, only the part of Rhodey is being played by an alligator."

JARVIS, speaking into the small bud in Tony's ear says, "Sir, I have gone ahead and launched the Mark VI suit to your current location. It should be there…" The red and yellow armor smashes in through a window and lands next to Tony in a perfect, if less flashy because he didn't do it, three point landing. "Now."

Tony smiles and drains the rest of his champagne and tosses it towards a gauking waiter who only barely manages to catch it, "Hold onto that for me, huh? Big Daddy Stark has to go kick some alligator ass." The suit opens at various otherwise hidden access points and slides open to permit him stepping up into it so that it can close around him.

When he stands up he's nearly a foot taller and accompanied by the mechanical whine of the servo joints. "JARVIS, music?"

'Know when to hold'em' starts playing over loud speakers set in the suits… somewhere.. "Seriously?" It is replaced by Black Sabbath. "Better." As repulsors fire to raise him up into the air.

"Good to meet you, Harper," Roberto says to the newcomer before turning to Alan and answering, "Yes, Pai is well. Work keeps him very busy back in Rio." This is offered with a smile that is practiced to a reflex and free of tension, but also uncharacteristically placid to those who know the da Costa scion well.

Of course, even his best friend wouldn't notice anything off, what with the immediate distraction. Roberto watches the TV reports stoically for several seconds, but sighs when the newscaster identifies the museum as the monster's eventual goal. He whips off his bow tie and coat in two practiced motions, throwing them behind a nearby potted plant, then starts to work on the buttons at his cuffs and shirtfront. He's ruined enough clothes by doing what he's about to do that he's at least going to try to preserve the more expensive parts of the penguin suit.

In true milquetoast fashion, Evelyn has made an unimpressive appearance at the gala bar. Rather, it's as though she's always been here, lounging towards the back of the room. That's not to say her dress is underfashioned, quite to the contrary, she looks quite good! A long flowing open back red dress with accompanying clutch. Though she doesn't really quite wear it like it looks good. Concealed in her clutch is a small pistol, barrel detached and slide removed for easy storage.

When the news flashes up on the screen, she turns to look at it like most people. "…Fantastic evening." The venom is practically dripping in her voice. First she put on a dress she hated, now a monster is attacking. Why does she even give any fucks? Pointless. Scanning the crowd, Ev finally looks for familiar faces. Failing that, she kicks off her heels and begins the same procedure that Clint's enacted, "Everyone move in a calm and orderly fashion, please!" And when she does hear Barton's voice, she echoes it, "Subway station! Move!"

"Nice to meet you too," Roy grins, as he starts to offer a hand to each one of the people Lara is introducing to him, just when the alarms go off.Jerking his head up towards Barton, Harper mutters a low curse. "One of those creatures? Did they home in on…" A look back at the relics, and then Roy curses, as he moves. Licensed to carry arms, at least he had his guns with him. The hard part… well… "Think we need to keep everyone clear of the relics. Some of us go to confront, some of us get the civvies out, and… Croft, you're staying with the relics? I'll stay with you, then."

Alan turns to face the screen and purses his lips at the news report. As the floor begins to shake, he automatically glances down then sets his glass on a table. "Out the back." he repeats. "Sounds like a fine idea. "If you'll excuse me, I'll take steps to make sure there's one less bystander to interfere with the police." He does head toward the back of the museum but detours down a different corridor toward the bath rooms: probably one of the few places not monitored with cameras.

With the gala winding down, Kwabena and his date seem to be getting on fantastically. He's whispering something into her ear, to which she answers with a flirtatious smile, when out of the corner of his eye, the Ghanaian spies the demeanor… changing. To the tune of several dozens of cell phones chirping.

The Ghanaian gives his date an encouraging look, but when he turns away, his eyes begin to steel over. He's kept a satellite awareness about himself the entire time, and of all the people here, there's but one other he marginally knows to be capable of handling herself in a situation.

Hearing Barton's advice, Kwabena looks to his date. "Go to de subway station. Run like hell. Dis is bad." His eyes glance over the wall mounted display, watching it for a few moments, until a handful of people scurry past him in a panic.

When the people are gone, Kwabena's underdressed attire is scattered on the floor. In its place, he stands with his gunmetal gray uniform on, and quickly raises the mask to place it over his head and face. Then, he's rushing off in the direction where he last spotted Lara Croft.

Cricket has spent most of the evening with Tony Stark, talking science with him. Hard science. She has clearly read everything ever written about the arc reactor and has it all memorized to almost encyclopedic perfection. She wrote a check for the museum and was just trying to insist that perhaps the Malibu beach house would have to wait, when the announcement comes.

When the suit arrives, landing next to her, Cricket stares at it like it is the culmination of every nerdy fantasy she has ever had. She is reaching out to touch it when he blasts off.

Then that damn voice in her head has to rear it's ugly head

Target Acquired.

What on earth is that supposed to mean?

The appearance of a Cheshire cat in a suit has Bruce uplifting both brows while he begins to talk with Jennika Patrice, a famous Bronze Medal Olympic Runner. They seem to know one another at least. It's idle chatter about the progressiveness New York is showing when the ground begins to tremble, the walls shuddering around them and Wayne actually has to reach out and stop a spear that looks quite authentic (obviously it is) from falling from it's rack.

"Jenni, we'll catch up again sometime soon. I suggest we start making towards the exit." An ushering hand on the woman's back and Bruce slows himself long enough to linger behind at this point he's assessing and playing observer.

"Ah, so -that's- why I am here." Vorpal comments, mournfully nibbling at the last bits of a canape. His ears swivel at Barton's comment and he snaps his fingers, his rather fancy suit vanishing and leaving behind his work clothes- "It's Showtime! You heard the good folks, people- to the subway, and in an orderly way. The whole point of evacuating is surviving, not splattering each other in a panic, you hear?"

At Roy's interjection, he smirk. "Confrontation it is." A rabbit hole appears in the ground in front of him, and another one directly out the nearest window. He jumps into the first one and careens out the other one, creating floating trapezes in the air to swing his way around.

He has spent the entire evening on the opposite side of the room from Tony Stark, so of course it makes absolute sense that circumstances would conspire…. He maneuvers himself from swing to swing, looking out for other heroes.

Well okay others and running and stuff, but hey part of Danny needs to stay and help dang it. Or he can let the place get damaged a little, see if you have H4H on retiner, we can make sure the place doesn't get damaged! But of course well he decides not to leave and sticks around, fighting against the crowd to get to a better spot. Sure technically he's not a hero or a soldier or something. But do the known world, Rand is a world class martial artist and a registered lethal weapon, so hey maybe he can do some good if some people decided to take advantage of whatever chaos happens and like try to steal stuff.

With a bit of a calm expression on his face, Lucky walks his way over towards a small briefcase sat for most of the night off innocuously in the corner of the room. He doesn't seem to pay much mind of the other guests in the vicinity as he does so. This young battle scarred man flips the lid open, and proceeds to pull out an odd looking disassembled weapon all the time just whistling to himself the tune of My Generation. "People try to keep me down" he says while quickly starting to assemble the rifle, lock stock and barrel, "Just because we get around". He slings the fully assembled weapon slowly making a big show of his rather large high caliber rifle.

"Everyone outside! Hurry! Get out of the building and to the subway!" Lara Croft echoes.

Wait, aren't their giant alligators in the NY subway? Or just the sewers? People rush about crazily.

Lara is neither appropriately dressed, nor in any condition, to battle whatever is coming. She does snap her eyes towards the egg sculpture with a grimace. "Oh damn. What are the odds?" she asks no one in particular. She begins going about trying to remove the glass case from the clutch artifact. Unfortunately it's very secure. This will take a while.

Outside, the earth rumbles as something huge approaches. What looms out of the dust and debris in the air is some fifty feet long, with its head fully one fifth of that length, with a long, crocodilian snout. It has flippers where a croc would have legs, and a stumpy end to where it's smaller brethren would have a tail. It makes up for it with 30 centimeter long teeth decorating its jaws. It is, indeed, Predator X, Pliosaurus Funkei, the same frozen Jurassic period predator that the Helluland expedition found on their journey, but which vanished when the cave system collapsed. Looks like its defrosted and woken up, and looking for something. Also, it looks rather angry.

Emergency vehicles are screeching to halts outside, a good distance from the dinosaur, because there is nothing in their contracts about taking on extinct aquatic reptiles who could swallow them whole. Civilians dash outside, freeze, then the screaming begins. They seem to lose all memory of which direction the subway is in the face of the impossible. They need leadership and protection.

Cricket blushes. Here she is in the middle of a giant alligator attack of Godzilla proportions and she's going all fan girl over Iron Man's suit. How embarrassing. She hopes no one noticed and is now trying to find a means of escape. Clutch purse in hand, she tries to make it to the entrance, highly doubtful that the valet parking will be available.

"Aww, crap.." and Barton lifts his head, spying his erstwhile 'partner'. "Ev! Talk to the squaddies then get back in here!" More than a little annoyed that he's unarmed, there is an idea that strikes him and is dismissed. Any indian artefact (sorry, Native American), the bowstrings would be useless.

Though now, it's time to get to higher ground, and he makes his way up the stairs to an upper level while reaching for his pistol. (Yes, he carries it everywhere.) Blue eye catch Lara heading towards the eggs, and then at the croc- and opens fire towards its eyes, trying to gain its attention (and away from that tasty morsel known as Dr. Croft.)

"Stark! Thing is cold-blooded!" It -was- in the ice after all, and aren't things like that cold blooded? He remembered that from school- unless the theories are wrong and dinos are actually -warm- blooded. (Nah, perish the thought!) "Got anything cold?"

The Iron Man rockets out of the museum through the same shattered window through which the suit entered moments before. Repulsors in either leg flare and he goes into a cork screw stop with his palms turned out and back to stop his spin so that he's pointed directly down the avenue from this huge creature now trying to make the city… or anything its way… lunch. "This is why I don't do antient civilizations…."

Both hands point down the street and fire off a duel blast of repulsor beams at the huge monsters face, then he's riding towards it with all four beams at full, "I'll get it's attention, get those people into the subway." He blathers over police comms and his loud speakers to the ground based heroes working at street level. "Heathcliff, is that you?" Spying the purple fur.

"Copy that, Hawkeye. Keep those people safe."

Roberto finally gets his shirt off and throws it after the coat and tie. To anyone watching, it's going to look like the Brazilian is stripping down to go for a swim — at least until his body darkens to a pure matte black shadow, and the air around him begins to crackle with a powerful corona of solar energy. The yellow-orange fire of Sunspot's gaze turns toward the museum entrance, but he's distracted when Lara darts toward the egg clutch display case right next to him.

For a second, he's torn. After all, the sooner he gets outside, the sooner he gets to punch a frickin' dinosaur. But as he said earlier, Lara's the expert here, so after offering a polite "Excuse me" — despite its fearsome appearance, his high-energy form won't necessarily burn you and doesn't distort his voice — he hauls back and punches the display case with his considerable solar might. That should leave it in pieces, and quite possibly, another zip code. Then he's running after the others toward the entrance and prehistoric pugilism.

The long red dress is not really appropriate combat attire, but there's little Ev can do about it at the moment. It's much too expensive to actually tear like they do in the movies. Curse real life. Luckily, there's at least a cut in the fabric up the length of her leg, and that affords her -enough- mobility while running. It's much better with the ditched shoes. Distracted momentarily, Evelyn watches Iron Man blast off before returning to herding the screaming mass. At least if she gets broken, one person here who knows her secret can fix her. That's reassuring.

Ev joins wiht Hawkeye just long enough to catch that message about navigating squaddies. "Roger!" She replies, darting off ahead to convene with the police forces that have begun to gather outside. The rocks against her feet hurt, but that pain is nothing to the danger that's about right now. "Officer!" She shouts, nearly running down in leaps and bounds. "Evelyn W. SHIELD, set up perimeter here and 30 yards over there." She points, "Get these people to the subway and shelter -NOW-." If there's anything more frightening than Ev on a bad day, it's Ev on a bad day who's also frightened shitless.

The officer's squadmates that aren't just holding against the dinosaur begn setting up an area of control to secure the area and move civilians, and donators alike to a safer area. Hopefully to impose some kind of order on this chaos.

Gun in hand, Roy quickly redirects traffic around Lara, motioning to the exits. "Everyone that way, and out…!"

And then, falling in next to Lara, as someone would have to keep her covered, Roy does a quick glance, figures there is enough people to keep the beastie at bay, and falls in, helping to try and unsecure the glass artifact and…

"OH HELL WITH IT!" BANGBANG.

The glass shatters. "Go get it, and run!"

The woman displays her 400m Athletic dash abilities in the hasted escape in which she beats away from the Gala and Mr.Wayne's company. Bruce admires the display but for what one would expect of the Billionaire and his shady reputation. He is actually rather impressed by the woman's athleticism. It's what inspired them to talk in the first place. They have a mutual connection through physical trainers. Wayne trainers, not Batman. That would be a whole-different /sort/ of people.

A lift of his wristwatch and he thumbswipes across it, a small camera turning on that brings up a micro screen within the display, Roberto Da Costa is the first target. Others follow. One by one Bruce takes footage of them and their unique displays.

His actions are of course masked in a manner befitting a master in the sleight of hand. A quick side-step and he is yanking a heavyset man out of the way of exploding glass and a tumbling set of armor. "Careful, sir."

"Oh thank you. I was just staring at Iron Man."

A coy smile half-smile and Bruce Wayne steps out on to the street near a taxi thats gotten itself stuck behind a Prius. Ignoring the two men as they shout at one another. Rather odd to see an aggressive hybrid driver. But then again, New York…

Cricket looks over to Evelyn as she kicks off her shoes to run. Must be nice not to be wearing designer shoes from Prada that one can just toss away like that. But that is Cricket's cross to bear. She can, however, take them off and hold them in one hand as she runs. She tries to dodge falling debris and shattered glass. Okay, shoes back on and run like a girly girl again.

Once in the bathroom, there's a bright green flash and Alan's clothes transform into Sentinel's costume. For some reason, it's the only actual transformation he's capable of but the Green must like to make things convenient for their avatars. After busting out the window (his donation will certainly cover the cost of the repair), he flies out and then up and over the building. Spotting the giant croc (not difficult to do), he uses his ring to form a metal vice over the snout of the beast to foirce it closed and hopefully keep it that way.

Spotting Lara, Shift makes his way over. Behind the mask, he looks to where she's going, and a frown forms on his face when he sees, for a second time, the eggs in their case. A moment passes, and he frowns deeper. "You've got to be kidding me," he mutters.

The skin on his fingers visibly stiffens and hardens, paired with a crackling sound that is otherwise lost in the noise. When he forms a fist, there's more crackling still, like rock snapping against metal.

When Sunspot shows up, a slightly surprised look forms on the exposed part of his face. He reaches up and rips the mask free, watching as the man hauls off and does… exactly what he was planning to do. Looks like some people power up faster!

Shift pivots about, looking about toward the direction of Central Park, where the monster will be coming from. If nothing else, he makes a pretty good plaything, and decides to remain as a last ditch defense, if things go that far. "I've got you," he advises Lara.

Roy gets a cursory glance, and a nod of his head. Let's keep things friendly.

"Yes it is me, tinman," Vorpal calls back, jumping through another Rabbit Hole and appearing next to Iron Man, a purple platform materializing under him to catch him in mid-air. "So how do we deal with his menace? I'm not very fond of the scaly end of the animal kingdom… though I do know they are usually nocturnal hunters, so maybe a little razzle-dazzle to disorient…" he muses, focusing his willpower. An eruption of bright lights is directed at the fifty foot tall monstrosity's eyes. "… I'm open to suggestions, though."

Well okay people are running outside of the building, so time to go there, maybe he can actually do something out there. Plus hey he has heard the mention of a Dinosaur, Danny had to kill a dragon to get his abilities. Heck a dinorsaur should be easier, they don't breath fire! Of course once the man does make his way outside, he is kinda lost for a moment, until he figures out what the heck to do. But hey once outside, well the first thing, is find a place where he can't be scene, and well take off the the jacket, shirt and tie. He of course tosses them to the nearest homeless man, "You didn't see anything, okay?" Then comes the shoes, sure barefeet isn't the same as little yellow booties, but they'll do! After that comes the emergency mask, every good superhero needs an emergency mask! After that it's back on the street, and looking around for whoever has decided to take charge.

"Lady's and gentlemen if you would kindly please head that way" Lucky calls out at the top of his lungs a gravely shout that rings out fairly well considering the chaos while pointing towards the exit to the subways. "Hopefully this place will still be standing" As he slams a double drum magazine onto the bottom of his rifle, pulling back the bolt with a loud click lost to the noise.

Lucky makes his way over towards the front entrance with oversized rifle in hand, bottle of pills in the other. He pops a few only really now noticing the egg case, and saying quietly under his breath "Explains a lot", before moving his way over towards the front of the building not really sure what all he can do, but wanting to do something to help.

The massive pliosaur is clearly angry, but equally confused. The last time it was awake, there was a whole lot of nothing other than other dinos and the ever encroaching ice. It doesn't understand electronics, lighting, cars, sirens, or all the tiny hairless monkeys running about beneath its flippered feet like wee little, finless fish.

Bullets bounce around Predator X's eyes as Hawkeye fires at it, and it swings its massive head side to side as if swatting mosquitos. It manages to swat an ambulance on one side, and a fire truck on the other. Both roll over and tumble away like children's toys. It gets a face full of Stark Industries Repulsors <tm> a moment later and swings its attention towards the flying metal man. It has no context for robots or even humans in its slowly awakening brain, but it knows annoyances and pests. It snaps its jaws at Iron Man.

The display case holding the egg clutch shatters under Sunspot's punch and Roy's shots. Alarms go off, high pitched and ear-splitting, even as Croft tries to wrestle the large item off the pedestal one armed. That is so not going to work. "If this is that damned thing's fossilized eggs, I am going to feel like a complete idiot," she mutters. Prepare your dunce cap Lara. "Harper! Help me with this damned thing! It may follow it around. We can use it to lure the thing someplace less populated!" She gives Shift a grateful nod. "Thanks," she grunts out as she works on lifting again. It's not exactly small or light.

Evelyn's commanding orders get the police in order, and they begin ushering the civilians to the safety of the nearest subway entrance. Once given direction by Lucky and the cops, the sheep are more than happy to be led to someplace secure.

Just as the monster goes to snap at Stark, it gets blinded by Vorpal's bright flash of light. By the time it's vision clears it's wearing a glowing green muzzle of lantern-ish origin. It begins to angrily roll around in the middle of the street, crushing anything in its path, trying to free its jaws. Hey, you'd be pretty pissed to if you didn't have opposable thumbs and you're primary tactile sensory input device was disabled.

The bum in the alley blinks blearily past Danny at the GIANT MONSTER. Pretty sure he didn't even blink at the stripping rich dude throwing him clothing.

"Doing my best, Stark. All in all, would rather have my damned bow." At least he has his perch, and from the mezzanine, Barton hops onto the marble railing and walks across it before making a leap to one of the large chandeliers that hang over the main lobby, and pulls himself up for a better vantage.

The splintering of glass in shards begins that fall to the ground, and Barton winces. "Tell me you're not giving that thing the eggs back to try and hatch them. Right?" Beat. "Right?"

Of course, the screeching alarm makes for a great deal of pain as he's pretty much near the ceiling, and the light flashes are almost enough to blind Hawkeye. So, best laid plans, yadda, yadda..

Dropping from the ceiling to the clutch, Barton yells in order to be heard over the alarms, "What do you want to do with this stuff?"

Cricket gets out into the street. She tries to run to the safety that is the subway. Not that she has ever been in one before, but they're safe, right? She dodges this way and that, screaming like the very non-combative type she is. Unless it's a dojo. That doesn't count. It's a nice, safe, controlled and un-alligatory environment! A car swerves at just the wrong time, hitting the woman and sending her flying to the curb and hitting a lamp post so hard she makes the lamp post ring.

"Master Bruce shall I send your equipment?" The bored looking Alfred appears on that same WayneTech wristwatch.

"No. We're sitting this one out. This city's colorful… guardians are already in action. We'll wait and see what happens for now."

"And the Justice League?"

"Sentinel is here. We're not exactly in a position to offer much more aid than him alone right now." Even if the man is acting independently and not as an extension of the JLA. Once a member always a representative. Lucky and his weapon get a cautionary look before Bruce looks back towards Predator X and the chaos it is causing. All of this footage is being uploaded simultaneously to the Batcomputer and the JLA monitors. Oracle and the League can sift through it later. It's the woman getting struck (Cricket) by the car that has him in action, rushing to her side just too slow (even for Batman) one arm outstretched, "LOOK OUT!" Too late.

Repulsors hit and attention is wholely on the Red and Gold booming Black Sabbath, just incase anyone for a block forgot who was saving their life. Tony barely zips through the mawl as it's forced closed by Sentinels green lasso of light. As he bursts out the otherside between two teeth as big as he is, he turns and fires stabilizer blasts behind him and rockets straight up infront of the things dazed stair. "Green guy." To Sentinel, "You think you can tether it down if I give you some purchase holes?"

"Sir, should I alert Ms Potts and tell her that we will be funding street repairs?"

"Probably a good idea, JARVIS." Whirling overhead and flying straight back towards the street with his palms facing out ahead of him to smash holes through the concrete down into the sewers. Four of them, big enough to creat some pretty big lassos around this thing.

"Healthcliff, how big of an illusionary wall can you create? How about wall? Big enough that it can't see the museum so they can get those people down into the subways."

By the time Roberto gets out onto the street, other superpowered types are already whaling on the prehistoric monster with repulsor beams, bullets, and what appears to be the oversized green ghost of a useful piece of wood shop equipment. And, in response, it's rolling around laying waste to a large swath of Midtown. For several seconds, he just stands and stares, trying to figure out where his strength can do any good. Too bad he didn't stick around with Lara, Roy, and Shift long enough to notice their difficulties.

Then, an idea hits him. A tremendous leap, augmented with jets of thrust from his solar corona, sends him flying into the air, then rocketing back downward to slam feet-first into the pliosaur's throat, which it has exposed by turning over. He doesn't weigh a hell of a lot compared to the monstrosity, but throats are sensitive, right? Even if the blow doesn't have the effect Roberto is hoping for, Vorpal's light show is at least keeping the mutant's solar-powered batteries nicely topped off for whatever he will attempt next.

"Come on, men! Move, move! La'Kowski, stand that corner!" The captain shouts after glancing at Ev's ID from her clutch. They don't need much more motivation than that, the few times being a SHIELD agent actually comes through to being useful. The captain, a burly man with body hair as thick as a Wolverine works to direct officers. His name is Jonathan Slate. It says so on the name tag just above a grease stain. Or is it a dried blood stain. It's hard to tell. A couple other officers form a barrier with their patrol cars, an obvious effort to block people from going into dangerous areas. Control is the name of the game.

Evelyn, taking a slightly reprieve from directing squaddies, moves to one of the patrol cars. The parts of her Interceptor 45 pistol are laid out as she assembles it with incredible acuity and haste. Loaded, she pulls back the slide and it all falls into place, ready to go. The clutch, unfortunately, has to go back 'round her shoulder for carrying. "This.. Is the worst combat uniform. I fucking hate dresses." She grumbles to herself while running into the crowd. A few people are ushered in different directions as Ev makes her way back inside. The pitter-patter of bare feet over broken glass shards isn't heard over the blaring alarms. But perhaps Evelyn's pained expression is telling, "Fuck. Ow! Ow! Ow!" No blood. But holy crap that hurts. She stops just sort of Hawkeye near the clutch, hands holding her pistol. "What's going on?!" She shouts. "Police working!"

Eyes narrow as Roy notices Shift. But as the other man's eyes say, this was no time to pursue the matter, and Roy nods in silent acknowledgment, before his attention shifts towards the clutch. "Yeah, I'm -guessing- that's probably the best idea, Barton, but we're not -fast- enough…" Not against something that size.

A familiar figure flying in the distance, however, causes Roy to whoop. "I think we've got an answer coming… HEY! KORI! OVER HERE!" Waving hands in the air, Roy hollers, "We need your help!"

Anchoring him to the ground? "I think I can manage that." With the monster on it's back, he creates a large, latticed frame with four segmented legs that lands on the croc. Each leg fits neatly into one hole and then bends inward to graps onto the ground. One of the openings, frames Sunspot where he is on the creatures throat. "If it doesn't hold him, we should lift it off the ground." Wish Wonder Woman and Supergirl were here. They captured a dragon that way.

Anchoring him to the ground? "I think I can manage that." With the monster on it's back, Sentinel creates a large, latticed frame with four segmented legs that lands on the croc. Each leg fits neatly into one hole and then bends inward to graps onto the ground. One of the openings, frames Sunspot where he is on the creatures throat. "If it doesn't hold him, we should lift it off the ground." Wish Wonder Woman and Supergirl were here. They captured a dragon that way.

For a moment, Shift considers asking if any of his on-the-spot allies have weapons. Stupid idea. If the monster makes it this far, it means that guns are pointless. Instead, he works on continuing the process of hardening his body. The look in his eyes during which can best be described as zen-like malice.

"Centrah Pahk is dat way," he recommends, gesturing in the right direction. It's night time, after all, so it will be the least occupied place they might lure the beast in the quickest amount of time. He stays close to Lara and Roy, keeping himself always positioned between Lara and the wall facing Central Park. "What happens when mama gets her babies?" he asks, echoing Barton's sentiment

The tone of his voice matches that of his expression and stance; firm, bordering on demanding, with the telltale signs of practiced self control. X-Gene mutations are trying on the soul, sometimes, and the one he's using is harnessed by anger.

"I've never had a chance to find out," Vorpal answers focusing. "I'm going to need some support. As soon as I start focusing on that, I won't be able to keep this platform manifested."

A wall. As large as he can make it. Taking a breath, he begin to build a wall of darkness, reaching as high as it can to obscure the creature's view of the museum. Fifteen feet… thirty… as the illusion quickly passes thirty, a strong headache begins to build between his eyes. The platform underneath him starts flickering, as if trying to blink out of existence as his focus rests solely on maintaining the large illusion. As soon as that platform disappears, he'll plummet down unless Tony gives him a hand.

Lets see what we can do, but then when Danny sees what Sunspot is doing, well the idea hits him, cause that's not such a bad idea. Martial arts training, plus the fact that New York has lots of fire escapes, makes Danny's first move easy. He heads on up to the fire escape, and just leaps down at the Dinosaur, charging the iron fist up as he leaps down. He aims the blow at the small of the creatures back, hey maybe it'll be enough to stun the creature.

Cricket sits at the base of the lamp post, holding her head. Her eyesight is blurry and … Dammit! Her shoes are gone! Those were $2000 shoes! ON SALE! She looks around disoriented and confused, rising to her feet. She looks behind her at the lamp post, a sizable dent in the metal pole. "What… just… " She spots Bruce Wayne and tries to remember her manners. "Mr. Wayne. I'm one of your investors," she says, holding out a hand and then stumbling.

-Diagnosis: Minimal Damage. Incident has possible ramifications of revealing true nature.

-Recommendation: Continue to use disquise personality. Induce the appearance of a faint to try and maintain cover.

And that's just what she does.

With a bit of effort, and a lot of screaming and shouting Lucky feels like he's actually doing something with his life for once. He pops a few more pills holding motioning with his rifle for people to keep making their way down into the subway, his focus more on keeping him from falling back into that realm of insanity then the massive wall growing off in the distance. "Just gotta hold it all together," finding its way muttered under his breath between bouts of loud reassuring shouting towards various people in the teeming masses.

Fashionably late, Starfire had arrived at Roy's place after he had left, but apparently he did lose hope for the alien princess, leaving her a note beside a dress left hanging smack in the middle of the room.

"Put this on, meet me at…" So Kori began the dressing process, not having really bothered to or cared to change from her Tamaranean war armor in years nor since her return to earth. But before, she modelled, so slipping into the beautiful purple gown, the v'd neck line lined in diamonds, slits riding upward upon thighsfor ample movement and breathability the rest of the dress lacked in its form fitting manner from hips to bust.

"Too tight… Roy.." But… she ran late, her fault as she sucked in a breath and pulled up the final *zip* and clasped the back, all unknowing that upon her arrival…

Starfire is heralded in by the sound of sirens, roars, screams and metal concaving beneath massive weight. Stepping out of the vehicle she pushes some of that flame red hair from her face and just takes a moment for this to sink in… Gripping her dress to keep the small train from dragging, showing the unnecessary and ungodly heels she starts to move forward in as if to run…

Not only no but hell no…

Starfire takes flight, that comet's tail trailing behind her in a flaming pattern, keeping low enough to pick out faces - and hear, sweeping down at the sound of Roy's call, catching pace with him and the other with ease.

"Nice party, the dress is too tight for this kind of…shin-dig?…Hi! I'm Koriand'r." The last part stated to Barton, a small finger-wiggle wave offered.

"They're fossilized, Clint!" Lara shouts back at Hawkeye. "Turned to stone by time. They didn't freeze like their mother out there!" When he lands near them, she grimaces. "If we can give it to someone out there flying about, perhaps they can lead it to the Great Lawn in Central Park. It should be empty at this time. There we can figure out what to do!" She doesn't really want to kill it, but it can't be allowed freedom in the modern age. She's seen Jurassic Park! "Maybe if we get it into the reservoir, someone can freeze it and we can get it stored someplace safe!" she adds, shouting over the alarm noise and sirens from outside. Where is Superman when you need him? Probably stopping an asteroid from smashing into the Earth or something. Starfire is a welcome sight, however. She nods to Roy to give the alien princess a heads up.

The efforts of the heroes outside seem to be making minimal impacts on the creature. She's very heavily armored by Mother Nature's requirements millions of years ago. However, PETA will no doubt rename it a "Fluffysaurus" and ramp up a campaign against those who beat it up for crushing their city. The pliosaurus struggles in the green bonds holding it down, flapping its flippers angrily, denting the road with the impacts. Its cries become desperate ones. Sunspot and Iron Fist manage to stun it for a moment, but that just makes it all the sadder. It doesn't belong in this time, and it's scared and alone and there is a wall between it, and the only thing it still relates to.

A large number of the civilians have gotten into the subway, pushing and shoving each other to get down the stairs. There will be some minor injuries from the haste, but at least no one has been splatted under the body of the dinosaur.

Bruce is more perplexed than anything right now the dent and the impact should have been enough to at least break the woman's spine. Miracles happen but this… no. A hand reaches out and settles on Cricket's arm to steady her. "You should find some cover away from the road. I'd suggest we get behind the police line. Oh? You're not someone I recognize from my portfolios but I am sure you're in there somewhere, miss?" He's walking opposite the battle as quickly as he can manage while still maintaining conversation and vigil incase someone else needs a helping hand. "Perhaps we should get you to an ambulance?"

Which is just what she needs. An arm slings under the falling woman to catch her before she faceplants in to the cement while he waves down an EMT.

Barton nods at Lara, more reading lips that actual words, not that he's great with that, but it does help. "Okay.. we have Stark outside, we have—" Starfire? Who?

Looking from his perch, he calls out, "Think you can airlift this thing to Central Park? Then I'm thinking some liquid hydrogen." Freeze it, put it back into stasis, whatever. "It's gotta get cold, real quick."

Leaping from the clutch in order to give room to do just so, Barton looks up once again. "If you can, that'd be pretty awesome right about now."

"I've got ya." Tony assures Vorpal, across the avenue when the purple furred hero starts concentrating on the construct the Iron Man requested. "Good work with the tethers!" He shouts, voice amplified by the suits speakers, so that Sentinel can hear the good cheer in his voice. At least he's turned the music off right?

When Vorpal begins to fall after his platform has disappeared, Iron Man rockets forward on a current of hyper accelerated neuron repulsors and turns so that the impact of a falling kitty hits him in the stomach so that arms can encircle him and gently deposit him on the sidewalk after a sliding back skid across the street. "Stay."

Charge deposited he takes back off on all four repulsors, "Keep it busy, boys…" He says to Sentinel, Iron Fist, and Sunspot. Like they might do otherwise right? And he's blasting off at mock three towards Stark Tower, "Get it to the resevour, I'll meet you there with some liquid nitrogen."

Roberto is more than a little shocked to see an entire glowing latticework descend around him. "Thanks for the assist, Slimer," he mutters to himself before leaping back into the air. He's not a hoverer — waste of his limited solar energy, as far as he's concerned — so he grabs onto the eaves of the same building Iron Fist leapt from and hangs there.

From this perch, he can ascertain that he's not teaming up with the gluttonous ghost, but in fact, a vaguely familiar Justice Leaguer. (Sorry, Sentinel, but he memorizes jersey numbers for futebol players only.) As the beast's cries change in timbre, he shouts to the fliers across from him, "I think it just cried uncle." At Tony's instructions, he grimaces, although it's not easy to tell through the impenetrable shadow of his form. "Reservoir, huh? I'll get on that." He leaps off the building again, landing next to one of the flippers on the park side of the avenue. Trying to ignore the enormous creature's smell, he grabs the flipper and — yes — starts employing every ounce of his strength in an effort to drag it into the park.

"Kori, we haven't time to talk about how tight that dress is… can you take these eggs over to Central Park, like the lady asked?" The eggs currently in Lara's grasp. "Get that thing to follow you, it's after those." Following Shift's gesture, Roy points towards the direction. "Hurry, babe. Barton, might want to call ahead…"

Reservoir? That's easier said than done. But the spikes going down into the ground disappear as Sentinel wills it and are replaced by a makeshift sled that Sunspot can pull. "We should build it a habitat." he not only says but transmits. "Because I am not letting anyone kill it. Almost everyone at the gala is rich enough that they can finance the operation." And he's willing to put his money where his mouth is.

"Dis museum is a death trap," says Shift, while acknowledging the others who have joined, Hawkeye and Starfire. From inside, it's difficult to see everything that's going on out there, and that's something the Ghanaian doesn't like. "Let's get dese eggs outside," he says, agreeing with Harper's recommendation. That being said, he moves to the other side of the stone block, crouching down. Every movement of his super-solidified body elicits a vicious cracking sound. Whether it hurts or not is anyone's guess, but in this state, it gives him a serious strength boost, so long as he has something to use as leverage.

Wedging himself between the fossilized eggs and the floor, he wraps his arms around them and removes a significant portion of its weight from Lara and Roy's burden. Then he shifts them toward Starfire, eyebrows shooting upward as he waits to see if she's got what it takes to handle the heavy display.

Ye of little faith…

"Better… hurry. I can't hold it for long…" Vorpal says. He doesn't have time to say much more, nor to thank Tony for saving him from cashing in on one of his lives. He's barely even blinking as it is, his focus on the massive illusion. He grips the edge of the roof tightly, trying to keep his focus strong, but it's starting to slip. Parts of the illusion are starting to fray at the edges.

Iron Fist leaps off the dinosaur once he's used his punch on the thing. Well that one didn't work out the way he thought it would. "I'll chip in some money to that. We know any place big enough to house it? Somewhere that's far enough way from a city in case the thing gets lose?" He calls out to the flying dude with the green energy thingies. Hey he doesn't want to kill the creature, just keep it busy until they found a way to keep it from destroying the city.

Oh my! Cricket is deceptively heavy for such a petite thing. Nothing that Bruce can't handle, but it might surprise him as he lays her down on the ground. Do women really still faint these days? Well, when one is designed by a man whose hey day was WWII they do, apparently. A pair of EMTs race over and lift her onto a gurney, also commenting on the fact that maybe she had one to many hors d'oeuvres

As the last of the people are moved down to the subway for their own safety Lucky starts to move to try and help with the dinosaur situation. As he takes a few steps however he manages to wander right under a falling piece of architecture knocked loose from all of the moving and shaking. "Glad that's settled, time to deal with that d-" is all he manages to say before being essentially impaled by a stone pillar in spectacular fashion, living up to his name once again.

"It's very relevant, it's not fitting for this event even, it'll ruin." Kori near pouts about that, it was pretty, but not really functional, but what ever is in that regard.

All joking aside the keening cries of the beast are heard and she gives Roy a sharp nod of understanding, her flight pattern coming to a screeching halt running along side him and redirecting her in a tracer of light.

Stopping before Lara and Shift, Starfire outstretches her arms in aiding offering, hovering there like a statuesque effigy of grecian proportions, save the alien notations and pupilless green gaze that can almost seem as if it is staring -through- you.

"Just tell them to stop hurting it. We can handle this." Starfire says rather confidently, just as eased as she hoists those fossilized eggs from them, though her brows do furrow lightly before she settles into the grip, and turns to head out for the street and the ensuing melee of angry mommasaur to bait her off.

Flying past Lucky, Starfire opens her mouth to yell a warning… "…!… Umm.." Too late. Wince. Oh yeah, dino duty. Almost a fumble she regains those eggs and commences her duty.

Well, anyone that didn't believe the Helluland expedition about having seen a frozen Predator X in the ice cap can go suck an egg, or a clutch of them, now. Lara looks gratefully after Starfire. "We need to get to the reservoir. We are the ones who brought this thing here, we need to see it secured," she murmurs at Roy and Clint. They'll likely need a lift from someone. Or a flying car. "Plus, I don't want to stay here and deal with the Museum Director." Oh, so much paperwork. Good thing she's dating a lawyer. Though Matt might break up with her after this mess.

As the eggs move, so too does the Pliosaurus. It rolls over, shaking off its bonds, and does an odd, walrus like, undulating shuffle after Starfire, heading for Central Park and the Reservoir.

As Cricket lies there Bruce takes a snapshot of her face. He'll run a recognition through the Batcomputer's databases later. Connections are usually never just coincidence, though, this Gala had a decent assortment of wealthy and interesting individuals. The weight and density is almost anticipated after having witnessed her smash in to a street post. Almost but not quite. Maybe shes a meta.

Stepping out of the way of the emergency medical team as they gather up Cricket, Bruce Wayne begins to speak to Alfred once again,

"We have eyes on all of this yet?"

"Yes, Master Bruce. I've deployed one of your drones from the car. It is keeping a feed going." No need to make sure the man keeps it out of sight or destroys it. He's as professional as the Batman himself. He's one of the world's greatest Butlers after all. "Killing communications now. I'll see you when I get home."

Now on the ground, Barton heads over to stand beside Evelyn, arms crossed, weapon reholstered. "I didn't tell you about the trip to the Arctic, did I." Now. with all the powered individuals doing their 'bit', Barton nods at those organizing the airlift. "I think we'd do it and science a whole lot more good by putting it back to sleep." Still, he doesn't care if it lives or dies. And the money for a zoo won't be coming out of his pocket. (He only makes so much from SHIELD.)

"C'mon.. let's track it to the Park," Barton nudges his partner before calling out, "Harper! Croft… c'mon!"

Stark lands on the upper most level of the Tower and moves directly for his workshop. "Alright, I'll move funds to a habitat, but we're naming it something catch and charging people a buck fifty to see it." He's probably joking, transmitting back at the transmitting Sentinel. JARVIS connecting them as only JARVIS can.

Once in his workshop he sets to work isolating one of the two big nitrogen tanks at the far back corner of the expansive lower level of his penthouse. Welding off the exposed pipes so the hyper cooled chemical don't freeze everything it touches in transit. "I have the nitrogen, what's the ETA on the dinosaur of honor?"

"Sir, the probability of this working is substantially low." JARVIS states rather profoundly into Tony's helmet.

"If you have a better idea, I'm listening. Right now it's all we've got and when exactly did I program you to tell me the odds?" The Iron Man takes flight again, firey orange trasers tailing out behind him with a huge nitrogen tank straped to his back.

Gritting his teeth as he drags the creature, Sunspot rolls his ember eyes at Sentinel's announcement and grunts, "Yeah, because us killing it is definitely the big concern here." The comment is probably not loud enough for the green guy to actually hear, unless he's got super-hearing or something, but saying it does distract him for a moment from the long, long way he has to pull this large, large pliosaur.

Really, he should be thanking Alan: with the switch to a sled, his progress is getting a lot easier and faster. He's just starting to feel positive about helping Nessie toboggan over the Central Park lawn when the creature spots its eggs and suddenly stirs.

Before the mutant can dodge, flee, or do much of anything other than shout in dismay, the enormous beast has flattened him into the grass and started dragging its entire foul-smelling carcass over him. After what feels like hours in his own fishy prehistoric hell, Nessie finishes passing over him, snorting with motherly glee and bounding seal-like after Koriand'r. Sunspot presses his hands to the ground, pushing himself up from the Berto-shaped depression he has found himself in, and does his best not to throw up.

Evelyn lowers her pistol when Barton closes near her. "Hey." She says simply. "Yeah, I agree with you. We need to put it back to sleep." She follows along him, "Do we actually have a plan? Or are we just luring it to the park? What will we do when we get it there?"

"That-a-girl!" Roy whoops, before he calls out to the others. "Get out of the way! Stop… oooo, that's got to smart." A wince of sympathy, followed by a wrinkle of his nose. Right. Whoever that poor fellow was, not even a fleet of Avon ladies could help him out now.

Falling in step with Barton's command, Roy glances at Clint. "Right, I hope you got a car, because I only got a cycle, and it was built for two."

"What about the grand canyon?" Sentinel muses, thinking out loud. "It's deep enough it can't escape. It's got the river. I don't know if it's deep enough but if it is, we could pick a spot with too many rapids for rafters." Flying above the dinosaur, he can't hear Sunspot since that's not one of his powers. Uh-oh. Speaking of Sunspot. It's quickest to just let the thing amble onward which reveals the young hero is all right. "Building in the Everglades would be more difficult and expensive. We can figure that out later. It's probably very hungry too so we should get it some cows." That would be a better use of Iron Man's time than fiddling with toys.

The doubtful look on Shift's face is replaced by a hearty grin as Starfire takes the display with ease. Still in his 'solid state', he unfortunately leaves dents in the floor with each pounding footstep, but he's not about to 'lighten up' until he gets outside and draws a bead on mamasaurus.

When the Ghanaian finally witnesses the way Predator X is folllowing Stargirl, he breathes out a sigh of relief. The rocky appearance of his skin softens, and he crouches down before leaping up into the air. Next thing you know, Shift, uniform and all, has transformed into a column of black smoke. It rises, bouncing off nearby structures to gain momentum, then vaults in an escorting pursuit to the Great Lawn. There it lands, and the sound of air displacement joins the sudden reformation of a cloud into flesh, blood and uniform. Finally able to see the beastie in all of its glory, his eyes can't help but go a little wide.

"Looks like someone got de bitch end of de primordial stick."

Turning aside, ever the guardsman on this little quest, he stays close to the eggs, with a wary eye on mamasaurus.

Once the EMTs have carted her away and she is hoisted into the ambulance, Cricket's eyes snap open. Her robot mind assesses the situtation and lets them start driving her away until she is at a safe distance. Going on automatic defense mode, she quickly and efficiently kills the pair of EMT's parks the ambulance and then walks out, oblivious to the world around her. Cricket isn't here right now. If you'd like to leave a message, please leave your number with the killer robot at the tone. *beeeep*

The illusion finally breaks, just in the nick of time, too. "Happy to help." Vorpal mutters, standing up and rubbing his forehead. His head is killing him, and he wants to have a good nap, but there's work to be done. He stands and jumps off the roof, trying to create a platform on which he can run and follow the group—

But no platform manifests. He just can't focus with the headache. "Ooooooooh Shhhh-" he falls quickly, panicking-

~What the hell are you doing, idiot? There's more than one way to get around!~

Of course. The Rabbit Hole. He opens one right on front of him, with another one facing upwards, and momentum does the rest- he enters one and flies out the other, gaining a decent level of altitude before his arc begins to decay.

~Okay… I can make this work….~

Using the Rabbit Hole and exploiting the laws of physics in ways that shouldn't even be possible, he weaves up and down, catching up to the group. He's glad that he hasn't had anything to eat outside of that canape- the rollercoaster of Rabbit Holes could be bad for your stomach. Emerging from a Rabbit Hole near Sentinel, he asks "So is there a cohesive plan yet?"

Danny looks at the poor guy that just got rolled over by the Dino, "Oh I don't think anything is getting rid of that smell…"Is all he can say about that one. Well here comes the problem, Danny can't fly or anything so well really has no way to actually really chase after the thing except on foot of course. And sadly having nothing else to do, well he does exactly just that, "Man the things I do when I am bored out of my mind."

Starfire isn't hesitating, her speed only shifts to keep that dangling morsel of 'hard boiled' bait in front of the prehistoric beast. No, no whistling like it was a dog, but she does turn, holding the clutch to her chest and flies backwards, watching it come while she gets into position, centralizing herself in that flight just over the top of the reservoir.

Only so much of the game can be played, and just when the pliosaur is about to reach… Kori throws the clutch into the middle of the reservoir.

Oddest game of fetch. Ever.

Predator X makes its entrance into Central Park, only crushing a few golf carts and flattening some trees (and Roberto) in its path. It crosses the Great Lawn and turns left towards the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir which is plenty large for the creature. It dives in, following the egg clutch as it sinks. It submerges entirely, making a perfect moment for Stark to freeze things with his overabundance of liquid nitrogen.

Lara rushes out of the museum with the rest of the straggler-heroes trying to get to the park to see the mother and long defunct eggs reunite. Her sling is really an annoyance tonight. So are the high heels. Someone carry the poor woman!

"I think we're just luring it to the park. From there, I think the bigger guns are going to put it to sleep." Just a little bit out of his league. He might have been able to hurt it, but no arrows. Mind, he's got his equipment in the trunk of his 'rental'!

"You kidding? Only in style. Borrowed a car from motorpool." Barton pulls his keys from his pocket and twirls it around on his finger.

Out to the car, and it's only a miracle that he can actually get the thing out of the parking garage (with the use of his SHIELD credit card). "All in!"

"Do I strike you as a horticulturalist?" Stark retorts, "JARVIS, dont you say a word…" The Iron Man rockets across the sky, twirling through alleys on his way to the Resevoir where they will hopefully be depositing this monster in short order. "Besides, isn't it a sea creature? Hey, have you ever watched Sealab 2020? I can totally build that…"

The park is in view, along with the monster clambering after the streak of light leading it on a one way course with the resevoir. The eggs go flying, Tony's tracking them with his HUD, little blue circles high light them, follow them, then the bigger target of mamasaurus as she dives in to save her babies.

He puts on the heat and flies in over top of the resevoir, cuts up and back down towards the water, cutting the straps that hold the tank to his back. Once it's in one hand he hurls it down and holds the palm flat out after gaining a lock, waiting for the moment it's submerged before letting loose a repulsor blast. The tanks cracks and sucks in along the fissure. The implosion then errupts into a hyperfrozen flash freeze, which is a good thing because just as the last of it solidifies, Tony hits the man made glacier in a perfect three point landing. "See JARVIS? This is how you do it."

"With style sir, yes I know."

Given the dark place that he just went to, perhaps it's not a surprise that as he stands, Sunspot fades back to the shuddering form of Roberto da Costa. His tux pants are practically shredded. He's missing one shoe. His bare back and shoulders are covered in a slick paleo-phlegm that's probably full of healthful omega-3 fatty acids. He clutches his own elbows and stares after the pliosaur for a long second before finally shaking his head firmly and turning away to stomp toward his big beautiful penthouse and its big beautiful bathtub.

"I am done," he mutters to himself. "Foda-se! I am cold and tired and half naked and I smell terrible and I have had enough. I. Am. DONE."

He gets about thirty feet before stopping, letting out a frustrated yell, and turning back around to trudge back to the others.

He's a superhero, damn it. He'll see this through.

"Lead the way, Clint." Evelyn follows behind him, "I don't suppose aside from big guns you also have a pair of shoes? My feet are killing me." She steps astride by him, "Is this your other mission? Where you went to recover these artifacts?"

"Definitely stylin'," Roy replies, as he opens the door for Lara to slip in, and then follows. "C'mon, step on it, Barton. Follow the trail of stink."

"That." Sentinel answers Vorpal, pointing as Tony does his thing. Though he's not really happy about the cryogenics. Still, it seems to have survived it once, it's likely to do so again. But it's done and the problem is taken care of so there's no reason for him to stay. To paraphrase Sunspot, he's done. "Good job all." And on that note, he flies away.

Shift folds his arms over his chest and spectates. A smug grin forms upon his face when Iron Man does his thing, and he flinches just a bit at the cold wind that fills the area. A brief glance is given around at the others who have gathered, and for a moment he appears thoughtful. But… honestly… right now? He needs a goddamn cigarette. Without a word, he turns, draws the mask up over his face, and starts walking back toward the museum. Maybe he'll find his pack survived the mayhem.

"That, huh—-" Vorpal gets distracted by Sentinel and carelessly opens his next set of Rabbit Holes. "I hope there's enough-" *THUD* "MOTHER OF CHRIST, OW!"

His two arms manage to encircle half the girth of a tree into which he basically just launched himself. His claws are enough to help him slide down slowly to the ground. Once at ground level, he lets go and falls on his back on the grass. Now the outside of his head aches just as much as the inside does, and he doesn't feel too inclined to stand up right now.

"…I think I'll take a few seconds… to make sure nobody steals this tree," he mutters, rubbing his jaw. "Yeah… that's what I'm going to do."

Well poor Iron Fist has had one heck of a time trying to keep up on just his feet alone, so well he does all he can think of to do. He stops and heads back to the museum, now the fun time, where the heck did he park that dang car.

Starfire hovers there for a moment, the reflection in her emerald gaze going from rippling waters surface after the large mamasaur sinks after her long aged babies to the frozen stillness. For a moment there's an empathic thouch, /something/ akin to a sadness for the creature and it passes, knowing what is done now is better.

Flying to the side of the reservoir she lands upon the grass, heeled footfalls sinking into the earth and one by one she tugs them both off, now non-economical for the moment, taking a deep breath…

And that snug clasp snaps with a tear, the clasp likely shooting off and embedding into a tree somewhere yards away. The posture she takes now is relaxed…

Though Lucky was completely harpooned by the piece of debris it seems almost for a moment as if his corpse twitches. Blood starts flowing fresh out of his wounds, and it almost looks like the crashed bit of stone is being forced from his corpse at a steady rate. Before long larger bits are forced from the body, blood rolling down the steps.

When people arrive on the scene, all they can see now is that the reservoir has frozen solid, putting the Pliosaurus back into cryostasis. "I'll pitch in to construct a habitat for her," Lara murmurs to the others. "We woke her up, we ought to take care of her." That's when the authorities approach. They'll need her statement. She sighs and goes with them. Paperwork. Paperwork sucks.

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